THE IMPACT OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES ON SPACE, OPERATIONS AND REVENUES
9. CORPORATE CASE STUDY: THE MF REIT PROPERTIES TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS
THE MF REIT Properties, Inc. has made strategic and organizational changes to become the leader in new technology applications within the REIT format. Over the past three years, the company has taken advantage of information technologies to improve its business operations and meet rapidly changing resident demands (THE MF REIT). THE MF REIT Properties, Inc. has an integrated management information system that combines data from the accounting, operations, property, development, investor relations and research functions. Table #1 illustrates THE MF REIT Properties technologies and users. Corporate Financial and Property Management Information Systems Expanding corporate information resources is a priority for THE MF REIT Properties. Corporate Information Systems (CIS) expanded and developed over the past three years have been: • Developed an Internet website to communicate investors, associates and interested parties. Each quarter, the company holds an analyst conference call that is broadcast live via the Internet. • Developed wide-are and local-area networks to communicate with each property
The company’s regional office are connected to the San Francisco corporate headquarters through a WAN, providing data sharing, e-mail and voice capabilities. THE MF REIT has virtually eliminated long distance telephone charges between regional offices. • Developed relational database management systems to share data between property management, accounting and office applications. • Developed an Intranet and Extranet to serve as a central repository of financial, operating, and market research information; and provide resources to 1,000 THE MF REIT employees. The Intranet provides information from six different functions: Human Resources, Asset Management, Finance, Marketing and Training, Research and Regional Contact data. The corporate financial management system uses a base financial accounting system called Solomon and AMSI/GEAC. These systems are currently Windows based but will eventually be integrated using the Internet, SQL and data warehouse capabilities using Sbase. Using the Windows based Salomon, SQL and data warehouse systems, in conjunction with the internet, will allow management to improve reporting standards through automation, reducing reporting costs in the process. Currently, THE MF REIT Properties is using a software system called Guide+. Guide+ is an operation-reporting tool not an analytic tool. The application is installed on personal desktops and is limited to key executives. The program uses “true” data originated from property management software. The advantages to this software is that is provides faster availability of reporting due to the elimination of manual spreadsheets, it addresses the challenges of working with associates in different locations, and it integrates the customer service and accounting departments (Guide). Guide+ will allow the firm to access property level information from source data in AMSI. E-mails with operating data are forwarded from the property to the corporate system. SQL, the data warehouse, and Guide+ provide access to massive amounts of data and report capabilities. Guide+ is not an analysis tool but a way of accessing the data collected for the various databases on the data platform that is connected to the SQL server. Guide+ has three layers: on top, printable screens; behind, Crystal style reports; and the ability to bring data into Excel for analysis.
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